Welcome to Cotswold Essence magazine

HERE we are at the start of a new year and the promise of everything that might bring with lighter evenings and balmy evenings if we are lucky. But no-one can ever know what surprises are around the corner so we are always delighted to discover people for Cotswold Essence who have more or less fallen into new careers.

Many of them barely recognise their old lives as they flourish making a living out of what was once only a hobby. Sudeley Castle’s head gardener, Stephen Torode has managed to combine both his passion for history and gardening, so for him everything in the garden is definitely coming up roses. And for years, mum Kate Whittaker could only squeeze in the odd hour in her garden in between doing the school run and the multitude of tasks that surround family life. But now with her children flown from the nest she has been able to start her own cut-flower enterprise, supplying blooms to brides and for other special occasions in the county. Music is featured strongly in this issue of the magazine.

I discovered there is something extraordinarily powerful about singing in a group when I spent and hour singing harmony to the 1960’s hit Da Do Ron Ron at the new Gloucestershire venue for Got2Sing which is expanding in the UK since starting up three years ago in the West Midlands area. And I defy anyone not to come out of a session with a big smile on their face and their spirits lifted. Nicer weather brings with it the start of the festivals that use our beautiful countryside as a backdrop over the spring and summer months. We are giving away tickets for Wychwood, one of the county’s family favourites as well as tickets to the Malvern Spring Festival which will again be hosting myriad gardening celebrities among its wow-factor show gardens. And if healthy eating is on your agenda this year you might want to check out Eat Wild in Cirencester, the brainchild of brothers Will and Calum Thompson who are serving up game and food from sustainable food sources in their quirky restaurant.

Sue Smith
Editor ~ Cotswold Essence Magazine